Yesterday, the Florida Senate passed an amendment to HJR 7111 — an amendment co-sponsored by 10 Republican Senators – which served to remove by amendment the earlier bill which split the Florida Supreme Court and created a new Florida high court for criminal matters (as described in our post last week). Read the amendment here.

 According to Floridians for Fair and Impartial Courts, the Florida House of Representatives is in agreement here and the House will vote approval of this amendment later this week.  Katherine Betta, speaking for Speaker of the House Dean Cannon, has been quoted in the media as believing that the amendment will be summarily accepted by the Florida House. 

What happened?

According to news reports, the Florida Senate heard much debate where things like the Federalist Papers were discussed — you know, constitutional arguments about things like a balance of power between executive, legislative, and judicial branches, etc. — and the result was that the senators went back and revised the language, amending it, and then sending this amendment back to the House so the House can vote on the new version. 

What’s next? 

You’ll still see this on your November 2012 ballot:  these are still changes that need to be approved by 60% of Florida’s votes before they become law, since they require changing the Florida Constitution to be effective.